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Message 1 of 4

Punkbuster conflict PnkBstrA.exe PnkBstrB.exe

I have been playing Battlefield 2 since the game came out 4 years ago. Now I am being kicked from the servers by the anti-cheat software PUNKBUSTER produced by EVEN BALANCE.  They tell me that 99.9% of the time this is caused by a conflict with the anti-virus program running on the home machine, or the firewall blocking access. I was using McAffee for years,  but due to this, I uninstalled the program and the problem did not go away. I have screen shots proving that I have the two primary files PnkBstrA.exe and PnkBstrB.exe enabled on my firewall (they were already checked by the software, it did install properly)  I turned off the firewall and ran with NO antivirus and the problem remained.

Are there any files that could remain after using the native software uninstall that could be blocking these files?  The game will start and run for a few minutes, IT WORKS... but then I am kicked from the server and the error message indicates that the PnkBstrB.exe file has failed to initialize. EVEN BALANCE says that it is McAffee interrupting the files, something is blocking them.

I have had a tech support ticket with them for over a month, and I keep asking questions, providing them the logs they have requested, but cannot solve this. I have read EVERYTHING I can find on the internet, and there are a LOT of people out there with this problem, and it goes back several years.  The only thing I can guess is that there could be some orphaned files that remained somewhere that are causing this.  If anyone has a solution, they will make a lot of players happy, because it's my opinion that EVEN BALANCE doesn't care,  it's a 4 year old game, EA doesn't pressure them to fix it...  and it's a service that the players don't pay to use... so it's not as if you can not use it, or use someone else's product. There is little to no incentive for EVEN BALANCE to fix the problem. It does occur on other games, not justBattlefield 2.

Obviously, I am clutching at straws, so any information will be appreciated.


3 Replies
McAfee Employee
McAfee Employee
Message 2 of 4

Re: Punkbuster conflict PnkBstrA.exe PnkBstrB.exe


From what I understood, it seems like McAfee is not there on the computer.If the product has been removed completely the remaining of the previous Anti-Virus should just be broken and will not have the capability to block your programs.

But since you think that McAfee files could be interupting , I would suggest you to try the below link,which is a removal tool for McAfee and has the capability to remove files and registry entries that remain for McAfee.

Let me know the outcome. 



Message 3 of 4

Re: Punkbuster conflict PnkBstrA.exe PnkBstrB.exe

I ran the program from the link you provided, and I DO thank you for the help. Unfortunately, it did not correct my problem.  It did remove the FREE version of AVG that I was running, but I can get that again easily enough.  I am just desperate and really having a hard time understanding this problem. After 2 years of no problems, something changes and now gets me kicked out after a minute or two.  I can certainly understand where there could be problems with firewall and anti-virus programs...  but I wrote to EVEN BALANCE and asked them.... since they claim 99% of the problems are related to those two issues...  what makes up the other 1% and isn't it about time we considered that it is something else.

As far as I am concerned... this does it as far as it being related to McAffee...  I don't see HOW it could possibly be interfering with PUNKBUSTER if it is not even installed, and should be completely removed at this point.  I didn't believe that to be the problem in the first place... and think it's justified now.  I could not understand how I could use that anti-virus program for all those yeas and now suddenly have a problem.  I think either EA changed something in the latest patch to the game...or EVEN BALANCE screwed the pooch in something they did and they can't fix it, and it's easier to blame it on something else.  I remember when I got my first AMD processor back in the early 90's and any tech support problem you had as soon as they found out you were using AMD and not Intel... you got the same answer...  OH... well THERE's your problem... and it never was.

Thanks for helping, I do appreciate it very much.

Former Member
Message 4 of 4

Re: Punkbuster conflict PnkBstrA.exe PnkBstrB.exe

MCPR removes all traces of McAfee Consumer software, at this point there is no way that McAfee is doing anything with files on your machine or network because it's not there.

It's either a conflict with punkbuster and another program on your machine or something with your ISP.

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